Average Yearly Costs Per Head Cattle

Discussion in 'Cattle' started by angus, Nov 1, 2005.

  1. angus

    angus Somewhere in Oklahoma

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    I am totally new at this and am trying to perform a rough calculation of what our costs are going to be ...

    Assuming they are almost entirely grass fed and you don't have to factor in costs of maintaining pasture, what is the average annual cost to maintain 1 head of cattle? We have good fences and even have a small pipe corral. Just need to figure out what else will dig into our pocketbook ... Are there a lot of costs besides vaccinations? Assuming we are lucky and manage to get a couple of fairly healthy Dexters, what should we expect to pay for Vet etc ... ?

    Is it safe to assume that most vaccinations are a one time event?

    Many Thanks Everyone!!
     
  2. Teacupliz

    Teacupliz Well-Known Member

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    We have our first heifer calf got her last Feb. I know how much her average cost was --my daughter pays me for her feed , hay and straw just this year with one bad of milk replacer she cost about $400. that is for 7 months, maybe a bit more as I give her extra hay.. she was on pasture all summer but I always hay also.

    Liz
     

  3. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    Hmm, $400 for one heifer for 7 months that was on pasture? How do you break that out? And if you had grass in the pasture, why feed hay? The pasture, is in effect, just unharvested hay.....

    We have 7 Dexters now, we started with 2 cows for $900 and one bull for $450. We buy some range cubes ( compressed alfalfa ) and feed those some but not all the time, we get the vet shots and wormings done twice a year, mostly they eat the grass in the pasture and have access to a mineral block and are healthy as we could ever hope for, so we have been lucky.

    Our costs are very small, maybe $10 a year for shots, some shared costs for the mineral blocks ( the horses use those to of course ), but those are pretty cheap. We put up our own square bales but if we didn't that would add a good bit. I have our cows and heifers pregnancy checked when the vet sees them for vaccinations, that is $5 a head. The bull has been doing a great job settling them but I like to know for sure a calf is on the way.

    I did a rough spread sheet figuring a 3 percent of body weight per day ratio and 120 days ( when pasture isn't growing in the winter, of course ) of feeding our 7 Dexters and 2 quarter horses, I come up with about 500 bales needed.

    Multiply that times whatever grass hay is going for in your area, and input how many days of hay feeding you will have and that will give you an idea of your hay requirements and cost for winter which is the biggest expense you have.

    Grass hay is going for 2 - 3 dollars a bale around here right now, so wintering the Dexters and horses would cost me around $1000 - $1500.

    If we have unseasonably warm or cold weather that will have a big impact, we still have green grass out in the pastures right now in spite of some light frost so far...I keep my fingers crossed for the really cold weather to hold off as long as possible to reduce the days I need to feed hay.
     
  4. JeffNY

    JeffNY Seeking Type

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    I personally think that it all depends on what your feed program will be. Will you feed more grain than forage? Will you feed hay, and supplement grain, etc etc. If I were to use my system as a benchmark the costs are as follows.

    The corn meal I feed is 6.25/cwt. I feed about 5lbs per animals per day. So it is about .31 per animal, per day. So in effect it is 6.25 per day, give or take 20 cents. My hay costs per animal, using a 1.50 a bale base (what it costs to make a bale) is .22 per animal. Using a 30.00 a ton base for the grass silage, it is about .75 per animal per day. It is 460.80 per animal for the year. I dont figure in my own labor, if I did it does add up, but I do not (when I start doing that, I am not enjoying it). However if your buying, it is different. For hay bales, figure in 2-3 a bale. Dexters being smaller id venture to say they would intake 35-40lbs a day of feed. So figure in a 50lb bale. Say you were feeding 5lbs of grain. It would come to about 21 bales a month. So that would be about 44-50.00 a month for hay (assuming it is 2.00 a bale). Total costs for feed would be 60 a month. That is for corn meal, any other grain will cost more. It would be safe to say to double the price for grain, so instea of 10.00 a month for corn meal, it would be 20.00 a month for regular grain. So the cost per year would come to 720.00 with corn meal, and about 840.00 with regular dairy grain. I dont think you will need any other feed, as far as forage goes. Now as far as vaccinations go.

    Rabies I vaccinate against, will not take the chance. Some people have mistaken a cow for choking, because it has rabies, so the farmer reaches down and walla gets rabies. Triangle 9 is a good vaccine, and both are once per year. You dont need to go overboard with vaccinations, the two mentioned is what I use each year. Can't quote a cost, however with 1 animal it should not be much at all, when you get into 10 or 20+ the cost goes up nicely.

    Remember region to region prices can differ, I quote a grain price they price out because I am buying in bulk (2 tons at a time). From a local guy he charges 9.00 for 100lbs of grain, and 12.00 for dairy grain. So the price I quoted could be slightly low. So to be safe, call it 900 a year. Again, it depends what works best for you, a hay only diet would help your pocket.


    Hope that helps.

    Jeff
     
  5. agmantoo

    agmantoo agmantoo Supporter

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    I have a herd of Angus which are rotationally grazed. I buy only mineralized salt, wormer, fly control and fertilizer. A vet is not used, I treat or cull or destroy but I have very little health problems. For the brood cows my average costs for the 4 mentioned purchases are $127.50. The calves are sold as feeders and they nurse and eat grass until sold and were not figured in the above calculations. I spend approximately 1/4 of what the calves sales generate for these inputs.
     
  6. woodspirit

    woodspirit Well-Known Member

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    hey hammer. Was that 900 per cow or 450 each?
     
  7. Hammer4

    Hammer4 Well-Known Member

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    It was $450 each, they are full blooded but not registered. The bull we have is registered, we got a real good deal on him, basically bought him for meat cost.

    We would like to get some registered cows/heifers eventually but for now we are just enjoying watching the herd grow. We got two heifers last year that we are breeding this fall ( they aren't offspring of the bull we bought ) and got a heifer and a bull calf this year, so next year hopefully we should get 4 calves...woohoo. =)
     
  8. PezzoNovante

    PezzoNovante Well-Known Member

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    About $82/head, whcih includes feed, vet, transportation and yardage.